Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

Pilsner Urquell - Plzeňský Prazdroj

Not Rated.
Pilsner UrquellPilsner Urquell

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,363 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,363
Hads: 3,308
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 15.22%
Wants: 74
Gots: 471 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Plzeňský Prazdroj visit their website
Czech Republic

Style | ABV
Czech Pilsener |  4.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bitterbill on 09-10-2000

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pilsner Urquell Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,363 | Hads: 3,308
Photo of elmocoso
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You first notice the blooming head. A good three fingers thick on a rough pour. Very white, falling into a mallow-like surface, pocked with larger sized bubbles.

Beautiful gold with a slight beading.

Nice hop driven nose, especially for a pilsner, but the malt does not bow out. It is present and good.

Nice hop front in the mouth, but well balanced. It ends on a better note, but the middle seems all malt.

A very refreshing bier.

Nice smooth mouthfeel, great drinkability. (490 characters)

Photo of noclue
3.03/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice golden "classic" pilser appearance. High foamy white head that dissipates rather quickly. Not very lacy, it seems to leave an oily-like residue in the glass.

The only thing I could smell in this brew was a grassy/grainy type aroma. The taste was a little more impressive, with a hint of lemon added to the grass, grain, and slight malty hoppiness.

I enjoyed the extremely dry finish of this brew, as I found it quite odd. Easy beer to drink. Not a bad brew. (470 characters)

Photo of beertaster13
3.86/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hands down the best pilsner I have had. Pours a nice clear with sunlight gold/yellow and a medium sized head that lasted farely long. Lacing is not bad for the style. Smell of earth tones, and nice hop aroma, roasted grains brings a nice aroma to the beer, hints of lime/lemon zest. Taste is a nice refreshing crisp beer, you get a nice combo of roasted grain and lemon herbs. A strong bittersweet aftertaste (lemon/apple) A medium bodied pilsner that goes down well, probably the staple if you want a pilsner. (510 characters)

Photo of AllThingsNinja
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This deep golden brew forms a nice, lacy white head as its poured. The head disapates, but does cling a bit to the glass as the lager is consumed. The aroma is of grains and grass, with some pleasant complexity. The flavor is bold, yet crisp and refreshing. I noticed olive-like notes in addition to yeast, grain, and grass flavors. The dry finish was pleasant, but not quite as crisp as I'd like. For a grocery store beer, this was quite drinkable. (449 characters)

Photo of Trentonator
1.12/5  rDev -69.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

OK, so maybe I got a skunked version of this beer, but drinking this was truly a nauseating experience. It had really bad skunky aroma, the taste was bitter and the mouthfeel made me want to puke. I would re-review this if I got a decent example, but I am not sure I ever want to lay eyes on another one of these nasty brews again. If the beer was spoiled in transit, then maybe the brewers want to rethink their bottling/distributorship/label dating. This was an awful, awful beer. (482 characters)

Photo of JohnW
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was interested in reading others reports on this pilsner - which vary wildly! Maybe it does not travel well across from Europe in bottles, and not sure how you get it in the US on tap. For me, this is one of the best Pilners available, typical nutty sharp aroma, clean crisp taste, very refreshing, and better than the Czech Budvar (or Czechvar as I think it is labelled in US) To have it on tap in a bar in the Czech Republic is wonderful....and a great way to spend an evening! I know everyone has different tastes, and what one likes another may not, but I was suprised at the unfavourable reports in here...one comparing it to Miller Lite ..huh ??!!!! I know a lot of beers here in US are very different to European beers, and I guess it's what we get used too...but for me, Urquel Pilsner is a true example of Czech/European pils - wonderful.

However, from the UK Camra monthly magazine recently there was a report that some changes may have been made to the brewing process (reasons of economy...dread the thought) and maybe some change in its quality...but I hope not. I have not had a bottle in the last 12 months, will have try it again.

Post script to my comments above! Just bought bottle of this (August 2004) and tried it again. I have to say that this is (was!) one of my favorite pilsner beers from Czech, but was disappointed. Either my taste has changed, or, as has been suggested, the brewing process has been wrecked by cost cutting. It still has the same sharp 'nose' but seemed more bitter than I remembered it, rather thin and not much character or depth in the after-taste. I still like the style, but it is no longer one of my top ten favourites.

John W (1,687 characters)

Photo of ChrisBowers
2.03/5  rDev -44.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I don't know what the big deal about this beer is. Its slightly above Miller Light, but why bother? Pours a fizzy yellow with a wet hay/corn smell to it. Not much to the taste... fizzy tasteless pilsner. Zero character. Why pay $5 for this at the bar? (251 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.12/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a golden beer with a standard head with more or less retention. Carbonation is quite standard. Aroma is a bit floral with some malt coming out also. Taste is also floral with some note of malt. This is a very light and refreshing beer. The beer might have been a bit skunked, which seems to be a recurrent problem with the Urquell; they don’t seem to stand the long trip from Europe to America very well. I find that the can version usually preserve itself better the the bottle version. (503 characters)

Photo of Sammy
2.5/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

First sip a classic pilsner and then some malt, and then.. Then all downhill, like tasting rusty metal, and not even in a can. Strong burning aftertaste of bitterness and attacking carbonation. Impossible to finish. Perhaps skunked, but I can pass on a next time. (263 characters)

Photo of kbub6f
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a fairly big head: slightly cream-colored, coarse, noisy and frothy. The beer is a clear, deep gold with lots of carbonation. Sticky clumps of lacing grab the glass. A tangy nose shows plenty of that sweet pils fonk. Some corn syrup in there too that blooms through the front to a full, fruity middle. Very bitter in the finish, with some honey and well-toasted grains. A very good pils. Clean and delicious. (419 characters)

Photo of garymuchow
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is from the duty free shop of the Prague airport. Date good through September '04. Thanks to my brother John for picking this up for me.
The head added a soapy quality to the aroma, but the aroma later brings on a hop quality with bitterness and freshness. Faint malt notes too.
Huge off white head, medium gold, clear.
Hop bitterness dominates flavor but a nice firm malt foundation too. Flowery taste quality middle to finish. Middle also has a light fruity taste. Long, somewhat dry bitter finish.
Feel of a good refreshing lager.
This sample seems somewhat different than samples I've purchased in the states. This bottle was less hoppy and more fruity. Nice fresh taste. (686 characters)

Photo of anders36
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice golden colour, with a nice white fluffy head. The head disappears fast though. It has a distictly smell of hops and some smell of fudge too. The taste is bitter and a bit dry, with some nice mouthfeel of hops and fudge. It has a long bitter aftertaste. This is a nice beer and a beer i choose when i want to drink a pilsener. (332 characters)

Photo of SeanChouffe
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Golden color, light carbonation and a light white head. Nice sticky lacing. Aroma is a little skunky with hops and some background malt. Flavor is light, slightly sweet with a crisp pilsner hop finish. Mouthfeel is light bodied and effervescent.
I am not a big fan of pilsners, but this one is quite drinkable -- not overly dry. (329 characters)

Photo of jvajda
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a yard of this at Sunset in Allston. Very nice, but it gets awkward near the bottom of the glass.

Appearance: Light golden color with a standard head.
Smell: Grassy and very slightly hoppy.
Taste: Hops are crisp and easy-going. This is a refreshing brew good for hot days. Very grassy and only slighty malty.
Mouthfeel: Light on the mouth.
Drinkability: A good fall back beer when you can't get much else, but nothing incredibly special about this beer. (464 characters)

Photo of gentlebubbles
2.55/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

on tap at Redbone's

By the fate of the beer wheel was I awarded a chill amber pint with no head and no smell. It didn't seem so bad at first, but the fusty backtaste grew steadily harsher until it was slowly overwhelmed by syrupy nastiness.

I think I would have preferred the PBR. (286 characters)

Photo of jed
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 30 cl on tap at Bohemia Bagel in Prague. Served in a Pilsner Urquell glass.

Appearance: Beautiful, golden yellow color with even strings of bubbles rising up. Nice big two finger head with a very light, cake-like texture; excellent head retention. As the head disappears, it leaves behind a trail of very thick lacing.

Smell: A nice, clean-smlling mix of piney hops and sweet, bready yeast notes.

Taste: Bitter nose that breaks into sweet, bready flavors and pine hop notes. Fewer citrus flavors than I expected for a pilsner, but I'm not that familiar with the style. More raw grain flavors as the beer warms. Very dry finish from the hops with some lingering bitterness and more sweet grain in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Very clean, slightly dry mouthfeel. This beer is almost perfectly carbonated, which makes it very smooth.

Drinkability: Good flavor and a good mouthfeel give this one near-perfect drinkability. Would make an excellent session beer, as evidenced by the high level of alcohol consumption in the Czech Republic.

Not surprisingly, you can get Pilser Urquell almost everywhere in Prague, usually for less than $1.00. While I hear that the U.S. version is weaker or watered down, the original version is a seminal example of the pilsner style. The original and still one of the best … na zdravi! (1,346 characters)

Photo of brewQ
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This "draft" was poured a dark gold with a puffy white head.
I couldn't discern the hop subtleties in the bar environment.

The flavor had a hint of sweetness and then finished abruptly.
Likely fine with the style but not my favorite profile.
Certainly had marks of quality and certainly drinkable.

I can't help but wonder if this delicate brew will suffer as it is pushed into more distribution. The corporate marketing boys will dummy this profile into extinction. (474 characters)

Photo of granger10
3.05/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Did there used to be more to this beer? I just don't see how it is such a well-known and popular beer. I guess it could be a gateway pilsner for macro drinkers but not much more. Seems a bit watered down and the flavors seem a little weak. Still its easy to drink. I noticed a floral hoppiness mixed with a cereal grainy flavor. Not bad but not good enough either. Even though I had this one on-tap it might not have been the freshest sample. I've had many better pilsners than this. (483 characters)

Photo of soper2000
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ah the legend that is Pilsner Urquell. I've been drinking this beer on and off for over a year now but i've never taken any notes so I picked up a single on my last beer run. I will be the first to admit that i normally don't enjoy pilsners that much unless i'm in the right environment/mood. With that being said here is my review:

Appearance: Poured a crisp, clear, slighty dark golden color with a white head.

Smell: Hmm, These Saaz hops certainly have an interesting smell. Very floral in aroma, a decent smell, just not my favorite.

Taste: Huge floral notes to this beer. Those hops sure are something special, I was just expecting to find something a little bit cleaner and smoother from this beer.

Mouthfeel: Good, nothing out of the ordinary, nothing special.

Drinkability: Very good, could be a decent session beer

In the end this is just not my style, i can see how it could be good, even great, for some. It just doesn't cut it for me though. (973 characters)

Photo of BierReise
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On Draught Clear light gold with a small snow white head. Fresh grain aroma with a nice bit of hops to boot. Thin body and crisp with a slight bitterness in the finish that lingers. Flavor is fresh grains and not much else. The classic Pils. Refreshing and a great companion for a sandwich. (290 characters)

Photo of Joey7F
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had Pilsner Urquell at Hogan's in Tampa. Everyone told me it was like Czechvar, but I gotta say this one is, imo a more flavorful brew. There is a slight citrus flavor that turns into a grassy kind of flavor almost instantly. In fact, I drank a few sips quickly to see if my mind was playing tricks on me. It has a good head, it smells decent, and I probably could drink these all night long. Another guy, who is a BA offline, said it was "pretty much like Budweiser", having just had Budweiser recently, I was shocked at the comment! This is what Budweiser should have been, clean, slightly hoppy and flavorful from start to finish. To top it off, you can usually get this good brew for less than Corona!

--Joey (717 characters)

Photo of kmcnair
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours like a traditional pilsner, golden with a light white head.

Smell is very malted, sweet and rich of cereal grains.

Taste is very malty, hop characteristic is subliminal. This should be a base comparison for a pils, has some notes of fruit in the aftertaste and is sweet. Very slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel is light to medium, coats malty and has a smooth finish.

I can see this being a session beer, perfect for enjoying a sunday sporting event or working on the car. Highly drinkable in mass quantity. (517 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.87/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Golden color white creamy head leaves specks of lace as it dwindles. Aroma: Semi funky tone spicy Saaz hop profile nice biscuit matiness. Taste: Crisp zesty hops nice all around flavorful pils with a rolling cereal grain sweetness to top it off session brew. Mouthfeel: Ligther bodied lager decent carbonation the original pilsner. Drinkability: Excellent go to when no better options are available nice crisp lager can't complain good stuff. (454 characters)

Photo of donnebaby
3.27/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good looking pilsener: active bubbly body of a slightly dark gold color, plastic-like soap-scum head. The nose is pretty remarkable, with great big floral hops dominating the scene, with malts in the backround. Positively pungent.

The taste is clean and hoppy--light body. Great hoppy dryness to the finish. A caramel taste emerged as the beer warmed--which was welcome and balanced the taste off with the smell.

The carbonation is aggressive at every step of the way. I'm feelin archetypical pilsener here. Probably great with food.

God bless the Czech Republic. And God bless Slovakia. (597 characters)

Photo of tjd25
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured a golden orange color and the head quickly disappeared. The carbonation made my burp almost instantaneously. The smell was grainy, with not much going on. Something bad in the aroma at first.

The taste was more interesting than I expected. Crispy, with a nice sweetness, I found some caramel in it, which made the mouthfeel smooth and enjoyable. An aspect of classic basic lager makes the beer taste like many others (or many others taste like this beer), but I found the caramel thing interesting. The aftertaste is hoppy and thicker than I expected.

The kind of beers you drink liters of in a session. Good, but not exceptional. (653 characters)

Pilsner Urquell from Plzeňský Prazdroj
83 out of 100 based on 1,363 ratings.